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Old 07-04-2010, 02:29 PM   #1
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AC current draw of A/C problems

With the outside temp being 93* we have the A/C running at the CG we are in. Kitty was using the microwave this morning and blew our main 30AMP breaker. She re-set it and I reminded her not to use the microwave, when the A/C is on.


About 30 minutes ago, she forgot and we lost AC power again. WHen we checked, our 30AMP breaker was not tripped. I went to the post and neither the GFCI/Surge suppressor, or the post's 30AMP breaker were tripped. I asked our neighbors (Same post) and was told that they were without power also. The CG manager checked the main breakers and found that we had blown one of them.

Our voltage is around 119, with the A/C running. However, something is drawing way too much amperage and I believe it's the A/C. I know I'll have to do JohnB's A/C cleaning job ASAP, but would like to know if there's anything I can do, while here at the CG (Other than keeping Kitty away from the microwave...)
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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Many campgrounds have this problem. They simply weren't designed for everyone to draw maximum power at once and this can happen in very hot weather or very cold weather where people are all running electric heaters. This problem is compounded with rigs that have multiple air conditioners.

Similarly with RVs, they are not generally not designed to have everything on at once and this is truly the case in 30 amp rigs, a hair dryer and a microwave alone are substantial part of listed capacity.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:15 PM   #3
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The start-up surge current from an A/C is quite large. You may be able to run the microwave (1,000 watts) with the A/C (apx 1,500 watts) for a total load of 2500 watts (aprox 25 amps) but when the A/C cycles off and on it will overload that 30 amp breaker for 1 or 2 seconds. Now picture that campground breaker feeding 10 (usually many more) 30 amp outlets. If 10 people are each drawing 20 amps that is 200 amps.

One good quick check it to feel the 30 amp main breaker and see it it gets hot. Some time ago I was having trouble runninng my water heater on electric, it kept tripping the breaker and the breaker was hot. I thought it was the electric element in the heater. One day I moved the water heater to another breaker and tried it. I put a contact thermometer on the breaker and watched it for an hour and it was ok. I changed the suspect breaker and everything has been good for 2 years.

Just some things to think about.

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Old 07-04-2010, 10:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies!

I failed to mention, that we also had the electric side of the WH on and Kitty had been running hot water..

With the WH drawing 1,500 watts, the microwave drawing 1,000 watts and the A/C drawing around 1,500 watts, that's a total of 4,000 watts.

3,600 watts equals 30 AMPS, so I now know why it tripped!

BTW: I learned that each power post in this CG, has it's own circuit breaker in the main box. That's the one we tripped.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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This will help, Put the HW heater on LP. (1400 watts) Put the fridge on LP (350 watts), make sure you are not doing a large recharge on the battery. The convertor can suck up 6 to 9 amps or more charging a deep discharged battery. The battery is probably not the issue in your case but just mentioning it. That will lower the power needs to allow the voltage to rise as high as it is going to get coming in from the power post.

Oh, something quick, pull down the inside intake vent, clean the mesh filter. Look up at the coil inside the camper. If it is chucked solid with "stuff" use a vacuum cleaner and gently suck it off the coil inside the camper. Heads up, there may be ice and water in that coil and it will come out to the vacuum. Some vacuums can handle water, some not. If it is chucked full of yuk, well let it melt off before attempting a cleaning. Take care to not push anything into the coil


This is what the evaporator will look like, not a lot of room to look up from down below, but you can see if it is plugged at least.



Good luck and stay cool

John
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